Snyder’s Farm Employee Raising Money To Save Africa’s Big Cats

Big Cats Campaign - 10

Milena LaBarbeira poses with some of her hand-made pillows she is selling to help save Africa’s big cat population.

It’s not often that one can help save a life by buying a pillow, but, for at least the next week or so, that’s the case at the Snyder’s Farm roadside stand on South Middlebush Road.

That’s because Hillsborough resident Milena LaBarbiera, a Snyder’s employee, is selling handmade pillows to raise money for the National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative.

Th money will be used to build fences – known as “domas” – to help keep lions and other big cats out of small African villages, said LaBarbiera, a rising senior at Hillsborough High School. The cats raid and kill livestock in the villages. In retaliation, she said, villagers hunt and kill the big cats.

“So by building these fences, we can prevent lions from getting into these communities and thus being killed,” she said.

LaBarbiera’s pillows feature an ironed-on image of a big cat, and come in a variety of colors. The pillows sell for $10 each.

“I have a goal of $500,” she said.

The fundraiser is the result of a long-held interest in big cats, she said.

“All my life I’ve been really interested in big cats,” she said. “I grew up watching TV shows, documentaries. Specifically just hearing it in the news, on social media, with the problems of lion populations declining and all these propblems that they’re facing, I just want to try to get involved and help.”

LaBarbiera said she doesn’t have any specific fundraising plans for the school year, “but I hope to continue doing stuff like this.”

Beth Savory, Snyder’s Farm co-owner, said there was no way she could say no to LaBarbiera when she talked about how passionate she was about the big cats.

“How could we say no to a young adult who cares enough about a cause to try and make a difference?” Savory said. “The foundation not only helps the lives of animals but also the people that live around them. I think it speaks a lot about the type of person Melina is.”

Snyder’s farm roadside stand is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Your Thoughts


Please Support Independent Journalism In Franklin Township!

No other media outlet covering Franklin Township brings you the depth of information presented by the Franklin Reporter & Advocate. Period. We are the only truly independent media serving the Eight Villages.

But we can only do that with your support. Please consider a yearly subscription to our online news site; at $37 a year, it’s one of the best investments you can make in our community.

To subscribe, please click here.

Other News From The Eight Villages …